Sunday, January 10, 2010
The Sint Matheeus
For a while in the 2007 timeframe, we believed that there must be two ships named Sint Matheeus. The reason for that is that there seemed to be two sets of dimensions for a ship named Sint Matheeus. One is the ship with length and beam quoted in Vreudenhil's list (144ft x 36ft x 15ft x 7ft) and the other was the ship with dimensions listed in lists of Amsterdam Directors' ships (140ft x 34ft x 15ft x 7-1/3ft). I think that we assumed that the 50 gun ship was the larger of the two. We knew that the 140ft ship initially carried 34 guns. By May 1653, that ship carried 42 guns. In fact, there was only one ship and that was the one captured by the English in the Battle of the Gabbard on 12-13 June 1653. This was the ship that Tromp fretted about in January 1653, when the ship was missing after a storm. Tromp feared that the Sint Matheeus had been captured by the English. He was concerned, because he expected that the Sint Matheeus was large enough that the English would arm the ship with 60 guns. In fact, in the Four Days' Battle in June 1666, the Mathias (as the Sint Matheeus was called by the English) was armed with 54 guns.